AMERICA/HAITI - People on the run, healthcare system on the brink of collapse: Camillians barricade themselves in the capital's hospital

Thursday, 4 April 2024

Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) - "The gangs have more weapons every day and are becoming more cruel, we have barricaded ourselves in the hospital and hope that they do not attack us. We cannot go out to buy food or medicine for the people who are with us, disabled children, the sick, relatives of hospital patients and the medical and nursing staff". These are the words of Father Erwan, missionary of the Camillian Ministers of the Sick, who writes from Port au Prince where the tragedy that has affected the population continues to keep everyone in suspense. "After we had paid 'protection money', they allowed us to go out with the ambulance only once to buy 30 oxygen cylinders for the sick and for surgery. But the situation is becoming more dangerous every day," emphasizes the Camillian who is bursar of the Foyer St. Camillus and is present with his confrere, Father Robert, who is the director. The “Foyer” is located in La Plaine, in the municipality of Croix de Bouquet, north of the capital Port au Prince.

"I think of the tragedy that the Haitian people are experiencing, who are falling deeper and deeper into the abyss every day in the midst of global indifference", said Father Antonio Menegon (MI). Nobody speaks about it, worse, nobody intervenes, and with the little we can do, we try to help the many Haitian people to live despite the silence around them. Saving the lives of the Haitian people means continuing the resurrection of Jesus in daily life", concludes the priest, who is responsible for the Camillian non-profit organization “Madian Orizzonti”.

A United Nations report said more than 50,000 people have fled the capital in recent weeks, adding to the more than 100,000 refugees already in southern Haiti. A report by the International Organization for Migration published on Tuesday said armed gangs have forced around 53,000 people out of the capital in the past three weeks. More than half of them are heading to the south of the country, which already hosts 116,000 people who previously fled. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/4/2024)